In order to receive compensation after a car accident, you will need to show that the person who caused your accident was negligent, and that their negligent actions led to the crash. Below, we’ve compiled the top ten reasons for a car accident in 2020 and moving into 2021, to help you gain a better understanding of why accidents happen and how to prevent them.
1. COVID-19 and Car Accidents
The global pandemic caused the number of vehicles on the road to dramatically decrease in 2020, so it’s natural to assume there would be a decrease in traffic accidents as well. But in fact, traffic-related fatalities rose by 4.6% nationwide. Philadelphia County reported 120 traffic related fatalities in 2020, up 60% from 2019.
This rise in fatalities may be in part because the COVID-19 crisis led to increased alcohol consumption, potentially causing more drunk drivers. In addition, the decrease in vehicles caused less congestion on roadways, which allowed drivers who remained on the road to drive more recklessly.
Speed limits are carefully determined by elected officials in conjunction with traffic engineers, and are put in place to keep people safe while driving. This is because speed is the number one factor in determining if an accident will be fatal.
3. Drunk Driving
Intoxication, whether it be from alcohol or other substances, can impair an individual’s reaction time, motor functioning, and decision making. Drunk driving is another major contributing factor in determining if an accident will be fatal.
4. Distracted Driving
While drunk driving leads to a higher risk of fatalities, distracted driving is one of the top causes of accidents across the United States.
Distracted driving can include:
- Eating or drinking
- Putting on makeup
- Turning to talk to other passengers
- Adjusting the navigation system
5. Texting and Driving
The most common form of distracted driving is texting and driving. Texting involves a visual distraction (looking at your phone), a manual distraction (typing), and a cognitive distraction (reading the text). It may seem like only a few seconds, but even 5 seconds of looking away from the road while driving at 55mph is like driving the length of a football field with your eyes closed.
6. Drowsy Driving
Driving while drowsy can be just as dangerous as driving while intoxicated. In fact, in controlled studies, drunk and drowsy driving resulted in a similar number of crashes.
7. Inexperienced Drivers
An experienced driver knows to keep a safe distance while following another car, as well as to check their blind spots while changing lanes. But an inexperienced driver may not remember to glance over their shoulder into the area their mirror cannot see, and may also inadvertently tailgate or fail to yield when they should.
8. Aggressive Driving
Changing lanes rapidly, tailgating, or illegal passing of other cars may be the result of inexperience, but it can also be caused by an experienced, but aggressive driver. In Philadelphia, around 36% of traffic-related deaths are the result of aggressive driving.
9. Road Rage
Aggressive driving may or may not be associated with road rage, which occurs when a driver gets angry at another vehicle on the road. This can result in behaviors like cutting in front of a car aggressively, using verbal insults, or threatening another driver.
10. Poor Vehicle Maintenance
If a driver does not take proper care of their car, it can easily create a dangerous situation. Mechanical failures can occur that endanger the driver and other cars on the road, such as
- Tire blowouts
- Engine failure
- Brake failure
What To Do if You Were Involved in a Car Accident
Even if you take every precaution in the world, it’s impossible to prevent every car accident from occurring. If you were injured due to someone else’s negligence, you may be eligible to file a lawsuit to cover your medical bills, vehicle repairs, and collect compensation for your pain and suffering.
The Philadelphia Car Accident Lawyers at McEldrew Young Purtell Merritt understand how difficult the aftermath of a serious car accident can be, and are ready to fight for you at every step of the way. Call us today for your free consultation at 1-866-333-7715 or reach out by filling out our form.